Benefits of Quitting | American Lung Association

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Benefits of Quitting

As soon as you quit, your body begins to repair the damage caused by smoking. See the health benefits you'll experience as soon as 20 minutes to 15 years after quitting.

20 Minutes After Quitting:

  • Your heart rate drops to a normal level.

12 Hours After Quitting:

  • The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting:

  • Your risk of having a heart attack begins to drop.
  • Your lung function begins to improve.

1 to 9 Months After Quitting:

  • Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.

1 Year After Quitting:

  • Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.

5 to 15 Years After Quitting:

  • Your risk of having a stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker's.
  • Your risk of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, or esophagus is half that of a smoker's.

10 Years After Quitting:

  • Your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a smoker's.
  • Your risk of getting bladder cancer is half that of a smoker's.
  • Your risk of getting cervical cancer or cancer of the larynx, kidney or pancreas decreases.

15 Years After Quitting:

  • Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as that of a nonsmoker.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.


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